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The glitter of death
The intrinsic value of those sparkling diamonds

The magnificent diamonds which find their way to the exquisitely manicured fingers of women residing in the aristocratic cordons of the world are not just at the expense of a hole in somebody’s pocket but also at the cost of causing a hollow in the lives of millions living in Africa.

50,000 dead and 1 million displaced (1991-1999) in Sierra Leone, 1.5 lakhs dead and 1.5 million displaced (1989-1996) in Liberia, 5 lakhs dead and 1.7 million displaced (1992-1999) in Angola and 80,000 dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo (1998-1999)- that is the foundation of Blood Diamonds for the world. In Sierra Leone, the Revolutionary United Front more commonly known as the RUF started their crusade with the noble objective of protecting their diamonds and mineral resources from the hands of the Government who was supposedly squandering the same. However, this crusade soon metamorphosed into a deadly warfare. Today, the RUFs are known more for the brutal amputation of hands, feet, lips, ears and noses of the civilians, than for anything else. Callousness to such superlatives is practised only to ensure that the civilians are unable to vote for the Government and grow crops for the Sierra Leone army. Arms are enforced upon children who are made to join RUF by influencing them with locally grown cocaine and marijuana, so that they kill their parents, failure to do so will ensure their death. Such an armed warfare is financed by the clandestine sale of diamonds (worth at least $3.7 billion as in case of Unita-an Angolan rebel group) to Liberia and likes who are allured by the diamond mines and who in turn equip the RUF members and eventually push them back into the diamond paradise (yet death premise) to continue with the killing spree. And they say that diamonds are women’s best friend!!

Tanaya Bose

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